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A pair of talent centres for blind, deaf and partially-sighted footballers are recruiting new goalkeepers after one of their current players performed so well he was snapped up by a top university.

Albion in the Community's (AITC) regional talent centres, which are aimed at partially sighted, deaf or blind players, provide expert coaching to promising young footballers with the aim of supplying future internationals to the England teams.

AITC teamed up with the FA last season and the...

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Goalkeepers needed for FA talent centres

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A pair of talent centres for blind, deaf and partially-sighted footballers are recruiting new goalkeepers after one of their current players performed so well he was snapped up by a top university.

Albion in the Community’s (AITC) regional talent centres, which are aimed at partially sighted, deaf or blind players, provide expert coaching to promising young footballers with the aim of supplying future internationals to the England teams.

AITC teamed up with the FA last season and the partnership has already proved successful and a sighted goalkeeper from AITC’s blind football programme has been earmarked for international recognition.

Sighted goalkeepers play a key role in partially sighted futsal and blind football, not just for their ability to keep the ball out of the net, but also by directing and organising the outfield players.

And Sam Marsden, who only took up goalkeeping in October, has been training with the full England blind squad at St George’s Park and looks set for a starring role in the National Blind League.

Sam, from Worthing, has also been awarded a place to study at the University of Bristol and has been approached to play futsal for Bristol City.

Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, has been delighted with Sam’s progress but it now presents the charity with a new challenge – to find a goalkeeper to take his place.

“Sam has done brilliantly and everyone at AITC is very proud of his achievements,” he said. “We now need to find someone to fill his gloves.

“It is a great opportunity and Sam is a perfect example of what it can lead to.”

Sighted goalkeepers must be aged between 13 and 21 to qualify for the talent centres but can come from any football background.

Goalkeepers who make it onto AITC’s programme will receive two hours of dedicated goalkeeper training each week as well as working alongside either the charity’s partially sighted and deaf futsal players or its blind footballers.

For more information on the talent centres, email: paul.brackley@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.

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